TitleDistilling zinc for the Ming Dynasty: the technology of large scale zinc production in Fengdu, southwest China
AuthorsZhou, Wenli
Martinon-Torres, Marcos
Chen, Jianli
Liu, Haiwang
Li, Yanxiang
AffiliationUCL, Inst Archaeol, London WC1H 0PY, England.
Peking Univ, Sch Archaeol & Museol, Beijing 100871, Peoples R China.
Henan Prov Archaeol Inst, Zhengzhou 450000, Peoples R China.
Univ Sci & Technol Beijing, Inst Hist Met & Mat, Beijing 100083, Peoples R China.
UCL, Inst Archaeol, 31-34 Gordon Sq, London WC1H 0PY, England.
KeywordsZinc distillation
Retort
Coal
Brass
Mints
China
TOUGHNESS
STRENGTH
CERAMICS
EUROPE
Issue Date2012
Publisherjournal of archaeological science
CitationJOURNAL OF ARCHAEOLOGICAL SCIENCE.2012,39,(4),908-921.
AbstractOur understanding of zinc distillation technology in ancient China has traditionally been limited by a lack of studies of production remains. The discovery of nearly 20 zinc smelting sites dated to the Ming Dynasty (AD 1368-1644) along the Yangtze River in Fengdu, Chongqing, southwest China since 2002 is allowing a detailed technological reconstruction of zinc production. This paper presents the analytical study by OM, SEM-EDS and EPMA-WDS of the production remains from three of these sites, including zinc ore, zinc metal, retorts and slag. The analytical results reveal the use of large-scale installations for zinc distillation with retorts made of pots, condensers, pockets and lids, all well designed to meet specific performance characteristics. The retorts were charged with iron-rich oxidic zinc ores, coal and charcoal; a high temperature of around 1200 degrees C and highly reducing atmosphere were achieved to reduce the zinc ores; the zinc vapour formed within the pots was cooled and collected in the condensers. The mass production of zinc in Fengdu was probably set up to supply governmental mints. (C) 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
URIhttp://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11897/164225
ISSN0305-4403
DOI10.1016/j.jas.2011.10.021
IndexedA&HCI
SCI(E)
SSCI
Appears in Collections:考古文博学院

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